Girls forced to engage in sex to survive near-famine

Women and girls in Turkana County, northern Kenya, are being exploited in exchange for money to buy food, the International Rescue Committee said today. The IRC is seeing an increase in gender-based violence, early and forced marriage, and women and girls engaging in transactional sex as a direct consequence of food insecurity caused by drought in the region. 2.6 million people are food insecure, and the area has seen a 5-fold increase in food prices, conflict around watering points, loss of livestock, and an increase in malnutrition and infectious diseases.

As a result of the drought, girls as young as 12 years old are moving from rural to urban areas to engage in transactional sex. Mostly being solicited in nightclubs, they receive as little as 50 shillings (US$0.50) in exchange for sex. Many of these young girls report being the head of their household with younger siblings or even children of their own who depend on them for food.

— source rescue.org

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